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  • Spoken in Galicia (ancient Gallaeci), an autonomous region in northwestern Spain which is comprised of the provinces of La Coruņa, Lugo, Orense, and Pontevedra; its capital is Santiago.

  • Galician is a Romance Language, that belongs to the Iberianromance family of languages. It has common aspects with Portuguese (morphology and some vocabulary). In Galicia, Galician and Castilian are both recognised as official languages.
  • In the Middle Ages, Galaico-portuguęs (or Portuguese-Galician) was a language of culture, poetry and religion throughout not only Galiza and Portugal but also Castile (where Castilian was used mainly for prose). After the separation of Portuguese and Galician, Galician was considered provincial and was not widely used for literary or academic purposes until the mid 1800s, and during the Franco regime in Spain it was heavily repressed. With the advent of democracy, Galician has been brought into the institutions, and it is now co-official with Spanish. A heavily Castilianized version of Galician is taught in schools. However, for the most part there has been no serious attempt on the part of the Spanish and Galician institutions to reverse language assimilation and loss.
  • The Spanish state recognized Galician as one of Spain's four "official languages" (lenguas espaņolas) (the others being Castilian - also called Spanish - Catalan and Basque). Though this is viewed by most as a positive step toward language maintenance, officialness does not guarantee language transmission among the youngest generations. Language and cultural activism has to struggle not only against growing assimilation to Spanish but also against cultural globalization.

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